Judge Kent Dixon was moved by this story of overcoming adversity and discovering a new lease on life.
Witness the miracle.
About six months after my son was born, he developed a benign tumor on his forehead called a hemangioma. The mark appeared flat and white at first, but quickly darkened to a deep red color, expanding out from his forehead and becoming extremely noticeable. While many people politely glanced and looked away, the majority of people thought nothing of staring, pointing and even commenting out loud. Fortunately, we had the opportunity to have treatment and now all that remains is a small, flat scar. While our experience was nothing like having a deaf child or one with another serious disability, our family still experienced the stress of how children, and even adults, can be thoughtless and hurtful.
From Silence to Sound tells the story of Justin Garrett, a 27-year-old man who was born with minimal hearing into a world of prejudice and challenges. The film is an emotional rollercoaster, taking viewers on Garrett's personal journey, as he recalls his childhood and the cruelty he experienced at the hands of his peers and also the effect his handicap had on his home life. Not knowing how to relate to, or even communicate with him in many cases, his peers and even some of his family members reacted by shunning or abusing him, rather than making the effort to connect with him.
Writer/director Chase Matthews deserves full credit for telling a powerful story in just 44 minutes, as she follows Justin on his amazing journey from the silence and pain of his childhood towards the bright optimism of returning to a sound-filled world. While emotional, the film never bogs down in pathos, and aside from a somewhat out-of-place technical description of cochlear implants, the device used in Garrett's miraculous procedure, the story flows smoothly.
Much of the charm of From Silence to Sound lies in the clear sincerity of both the subject matter and the production itself. Make no mistake, this is not a glossy production shot with expensive gear and a million dollar budget, but if that's what you're expecting, you're missing the point. At its core, From Silence to Sound is a story of love, faith, courage and commitment.
The full DVD version of From Silence to Sound includes behind-the-scenes interviews with the director and production team, as well as a Q&A session with Justin Garrett, but unfortunately my review copy only included the trailer, so I am unable to offer any comments on the extra features.
If you have the opportunity, make the time to see From Silence to Sound. It is a deeply moving film that will quite likely stay with you for some time after the credits roll.
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